Is Traffic to Your Hunting Website Really What You Want?

What’s the best measure?

Tape Measure

image credit: aussiegall

Oftentimes the basic metric for a Website is traffic and/or page views.

It’s an important metric.

But should it be the most important metric for your hunting site?

Take a step back and ask yourself a few questions about what you’re trying to accomplish with your hunting Website.

Are you trying to get clients for your outfitting business?

Are you trying to generate eyeballs for the ads on your site?

How do you generate your revenue?

Traffic is the easiest Website metric for people to understand. It’s easy to convey to people that have Web knowledge and others who have less Web knowledge.

As long as you relate your traffic (Natural and Paid) to another site people are familiar with they’ll get an idea of how big your Website is.

Compete is a great site for showing traffic (unique visitors).

I should clarify that “traffic” often means unique visitors or page views.

But which one is more important to you?

It depends on the focus of your hunting business.

I’ve learned quite a bit about segmenting and individual customer focus at my job as a direct mailer (cataloguer).

It’s given me great insight into the world of what specific customers demand from companies as well as ways companies can determine how to promote and market each customer.

With this understanding…

Here are a few ways to determine…

What Metric is Best for You and Your Hunting Website

Outfitter/Guide

As an outfitter, the purpose of your Website or Web page should be to encourage your potential customers to call you so they can speak to you and learn more about the benefits of your outfitter service.

Your Website should also provide the functionality to allow users to request information through a contact form.

You could have a place for customer reviews.

There are many things (like a hunting blog with photos of trophies taken off your property) you could include on a hunting Website or Web page for your outfitting business.

So what are the metrics you should focus on?

I suggest measuring your success on the number of calls you get via the Web. Ask the customers that call you how they found your number.

Also, keep track of the number of messages you get from your forms.

Remember, the goal of your site is to generate leads to your business.

The key metrics are the lead generators.

Also keep track of how users are finding your site and look for trends.

As with any business it’s important to notice the patterns and trends of your potential customers.

You might find a need that is unfulfilled for your customers.

Maybe there is a popular search theme that isn’t being served for outfitters.

Keep track of the more detailed metrics along with the general traffic to your outfitting Website.

Hunting Social Network

In the last one to two years there have been a lot of hunting social networks to emerge. Some will be successful and others will go under.

Each site owner gets caught up in the potential of hunting online by the huge hunting statistics.

It’s easy to start a hunting social network these days.

A site needs to have a very valuable and unique service and product for hunters.

So what are the statistics that are important for the success of hunting social networks?

New users per day.

This is a big metric. And it’s important to track how each new user is acquired.

Did you pay for the user with some form of offsite advertising?

Did they find your hunting social network through a search engine?

Was the user referred to your site by a friend?

Once the user is signed up for your site you’ll have to track more important metrics such as how much time users spend on your site on average.

How many pages did they visit on your site (here we get into traffic again).

*Side Note*

All of these metrics do actually relate to traffic. This post is a way to segment each user in a more meaningful way than just traffic.

It’s important to understand the structure of a hunting social network.

Make sure your site provides an ease of transition between benefits such as forum posts, blog posts, photos in the gallery, etc.

Make sure to make it as easy as possible for each interested user to see as many (valuable…to them…note you) pages as possible.

Also make it easy for users to share the content on your network with their friends off the site.

These are all key metrics and methods for a successful hunting social network.

Hunting News/Information/Resource Source

I enjoy going to blogs on popular periodicals like Field & Stream, Deer & Deer Hunting, and Hunting Life. These sites provide the best hunting news on the Web.

So what key metric are these sites tracking?

These sites are getting back to the more organic form of traffic. These actually do depend specifically on traffic.

Very similar to newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

These hunting sites/resources depend on continual and repeat traffic for revenue.

News and resource sites need unique visitors and they need these visitors to come back to their site as much as possible and to stay as long as possible.

I am a fan of LewRockwell.com for its use of daily articles along with continuous updates from around the Web. They provide great content each morning as well as commentary on news and events throughout the day. I find myself visiting every morning as well as many times throughout the day.

Of course, for hunting news and resource sites it comes down to having the best content and commentary there is.

It’s a competitive market.

Hunting E-Commerce Site

Hunting E-Commerce is another area similar to the direct marketing industry. While E-Commerce is still in its infancy, there are some key metrics.

Most important is profit per acquisition. And not just profit per acquisition, but lifetime profit per acquisition.

It’s important to track the lifetime of your acquired customers and remember that while you may acquire a customer are a loss initially, their purchases over a year or two will become profitable for you.

Be detailed in this metric.

E-Commerce seems to be the area of the Web that has suffered the most from being blinded by the traffic metric.

Traffic and gross sales mean nothing without profit.

Segmenting and individual modeling are the only way to be successful in e-commerce.

Discrimination is good. You have to discriminate when it comes to e-commerce.

Otherwise you’ll lose money and spend all your time focusing on the wrong metrics.

Focus on profit.

If an acquisition avenue is profitable then expand. If an avenue is not panning out in the long-term then research other areas of Web acquisition.

Summary

Traffic is an easy way to get a glance at how a site is doing.

But in reality, it depends on the type of hunting Website you have to determine the best type of metric to measure your success by.

Ask yourself questions about your site and what your focus is.

What is the goal of your site?

What do you wish users to do?

What do users actually do on your site?

Determine how to best track your success and work to make it as efficient as possible.

Best of luck!

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Dayne Shuda

I'm a blogger and hunting enthusiast. Follow me on Twitter.